65-ton crane crashes in San Francisco

June 3, 2008 12:35:40 PM PDT
Police are investigating what caused a 65-ton crane to crash into five cars, totaling two of them. It happened in the city's Bernal Heights neighborhood on Nevada St, near the intersection of Cortland Ave.

The 65-ton crane had just left a job site at the top of Nevada Street when it smashed into a string of parked cars destroying a Cadillac from behind and above, and damaging two other vehicles.

The driver says the brakes didn't work.

"I had to stop one way or another. I had to go into the cars and that way I don't kill myself or kill somebody else," says crane driver Ricardo Perez.

Aniceto Manondo's had one vehicle damaged, but he is sickened that his minivan was totaled. It was specially equipped with a wheelchair lift for his son.

"We need it right away because that's the way we transport him. He's a very heavy boy now it's too hard for me or my wife to have to carry him to the van," says Manondo.

The crane came to rest in front of Shiu Liu's house. He wants speed bumps installed on Nevada Street because he's seen this before.

"This is not the first time. Last time they hit a wall across the street, they've patched it up. It hit the other side last time," says Liu.

The owner of the Cadillac, who didn't want to go on camera, says he was awakened by a rumbling of a truck going too fast down this street, which he says, happens frequently. The next thing he heard was his wife screaming that his vehicle had been hit.

Investigators have a lot of questions, some about the vehicle's safety record.

"Was this vehicle in compliance to be operated on the street? Was the vehicle safe? Had it been inspected?" says Sgt. John Haggett.

Police say results of the driver's drug and alcohol test won't be in for days.


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